Norse shamanism. The name “völva” means simply “woman with a staff”. The staff, in Norse also called “gandur” (refer to the English word “wand”), was a symbol of power and, like in this case, control of the supernatural. The bishop’s crozier, the king’s sceptre and the magician’s magic wand are relics from this special kind of symbolism. The Norse word “gandur” means both wand and magic in modern Faroese and Icelandic.
Maenads were female worshipers of Dionysus. Their Roman husbands allowed them out for a "lady's night" once a year in reverence of their sacred god of trance. The stripped off their clothes, ran wild through the fields, slaughtered and ate animals with their bare hands, bathed in the blood and wine and made sweet orgiastic sacrifices to their God.